Dusty Miller Plants

Dusty Miller


frogster44 added on October 9, 2016 | Answered

We live in central Florida and have planted Dusty Miller along the side of the house facing southwest. It is very sandy soil and initially the plants did very well. Then, a few months ago, the homeowner's association arranged that reclaimed water would replace household H2O for all sprinkling systems. And, slowly but surely, the Dusty Miller started turning a darker color from the bottom up. The top half is still silver. Questions...could the reclaimed water be at fault? Is what we have savable? What would be a good replacement if we have to pull it all out? Any help would be most appreciated!


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ANSWERS
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 10, 2016

Yes, it is possible that the reclaimed water could cause these symptoms in your plants. Depending on the particular characteristics of this reclimed water, it may contain higher levels of salts, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. than tap water would. Nitrogen and phosphorus can feed plants, but in excessive levels they can damage plants, and salt can also damage salt-sensitive plants. Perhaps your homeowner's association or municipality can give you more information on the reclaimed water nutrient and salt content.

See this article for more information:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss544
http://tbep.org/how_you_can_help-lawn_fertilizer_and_tampa_bay-what_you_need_to_know_about_reclaimed_water_and_fertilizer_use.html

Here are some articles on salt tolerant plants in case you need to replace yours:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/seaside/gardening-salt-water-soil.htm
hos.ufl.edu/sites/default/files/faculty/gdliu/Salt-TolerantPlants_FL_Black_03_0.pdf

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